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By: Ken McCandless
Are you stronger in English or math?
This is the question that I often ask students before any type of course. I ask this question not to understand if the student is actually better at math or English, but to understand his or her “perceived” strength. That perceived strength only reflects confidence over the other subject rather than an actual higher ability. In reality, every student has the capability of being strong in both academic disciplines.
One way to discover the commonalities: Test Prep.
Test preparation is one of the easiest ways to discover the commonalities that exist between the two disciplines. Like so many cases, I once had a student enter my SAT prep program who was scoring exceptional marks in his advanced math course. His greatest complaint about the SAT was its reading comprehension and language skills section, “The math feels easy for me, but I hate reading comprehension and writing.” Needless to say, high confidence in math was very high, but he felt helpless in his reading comprehension and grammar abilities.
Finding the similarities.
Given his confidence in math, I realized that finding the similarities between math and English was the best way for him to find common confidence in both subjects. Starting with simple realizations such as, “the most simplified structure of a sentence is always the most correct, just like in math, where the simplification is so important,” or, prioritizing keywords in a math word problem is no different then consolidating keywords in order to read more efficiently.
His improvement was striking; he began to realize that he could use his same strategies and comprehension style for approaching math to conquer his perceived weaknesses in English. We concluded that English was never a weakness of his.
The Hillview Prep Difference.
Every student is unique and has his or her academic advantage. That student can use his or her advantage to become a more well rounded academic. No matter what type of learner you are, where you confidence lies, or what your current academic benchmarks are, Hillview Prep can unlock your fullest potential.
Visit www.hillviewprep.com to learn more!